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Hong Kong International Airport was a great place to be last Friday as two major openings took place within an hour of one another. And both underlined Airport Authority Hong Kong’s commitment to top brands, to excellence and to diversity.
The first was the opening of the spectacular Giorgio Armani boutique by Nuance-Watson (HK). What an occasion it was – graced by an appearance by the extraordinarily elegant Hong Kong-based singer and actress Vivian Chow (above), whose presence caused almost as big a stir among the large media contingent as the store opening itself.
This store – the first Giorgo Armani outlet in travel retail – is a real coup for Nuance-Watson (HK) and for Airport Authority Hong Kong. The latter’s decision to extend its luxury offer has paid rich dividends in terms of a much-enhanced portfolio of stores and the commercial vindication will surely follow as the market picks up.
The importance of the opening was underlined by the presence of Airport Authority Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer Stanley Hui and Hong Kong Legislative Councillor (Wholesale and Retail) Vincent Fang. The Moodie Report was delighted to have had the opportunity to meet and chat with these two outstanding men (below) and there was no mistaking their delight at the opening.
The store itself? Stunning. The gray stone-panelled floors, together with walls covered with gray fabric panels, are sleekness epitomised. The lighting is understated and the range features a number of items exclusive to the airport. The furniture, including tables, displays, armchairs and lamps, is part of the exquisite Armani/Casa collection.
But we’ll let the pictures tell the story. We think they do it beautifully.
The other big opening involved another great brand name – Fauchon Paris. And once again it has been done full justice here at Hong Kong International.
In this case the retailer is a combination of sister companies Lagardère Services Asia Pacific and Aelia. Management from both, as well as from the French fine foods company, were on hand for the formal opening of the 53sq m store in the West Hall. It has been trading since March with increasing success, especially among higher-spending Asian travellers, led by the Japanese.
Fauchon Paris is a beautiful brand and this is a beautifully executed store. It helps that the packaging is so colourful and elegant but it still needs to be merchandised well and here it has been. The store looks out over the tarmac and to the hills beyond, which lends a nice, dramatic effect.
Again a range of exclusives is being developed to underline the unique nature of the environment.
For Aelia Deputy Director Business Development John Rimmer and Lagardère Services Asia Pacific CEO Scott Raisin the opening was a particularly important moment in the group’s regional expansion. Lagardère Services Asia Pacific is already synonymous with speciality retailing around the region but Fauchon Paris represents an upscale diversification. For Aelia it’s a natural French marriage and a fine showcase for the standards the retailer consistently brings.